What the Heck? *Office Edition*

I had originally planned to be on vacation the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Instead, I had this hairbrained marvelous idea: I would go into work on Tuesday, when it was quiet, and start relieving the office of its dust-covered, no-one-really-wants-it junk. It appears our office will be moving before summer of 2016 and there is absolutely no need to move items that belong in the dumpster or at Goodwill. I knew that over the 15+ years I have been at this location, an accumulation has occurred – one that has assimilated every nook and cranny of available space, including a back hall closet.

The snowstorm delayed my plans by one day, but Wednesday was as good as Tuesday.

After checking emails upon arrival, which I told myself I wouldn’t do (but did anyway), I began the purging. Two a half hours late. The best laid plans…

No worries. Once I started on the intended targets, it was easy to keep going. Making executive decisions to free oneself of useless or seldom-used stuff can be very cathartic, especially when it’s not really your stuff. It’s like a breath of fresh air after your lungs fill up with the inch of dust invading the crap in the closet. *cough, cough*

Much like purging junk at home, the riddance of junk at work brings up many questions.

Why do we have so much of whatever this is?

What were we/was I thinking when we/I bought this?

I hope we don’t need this tomorrow.

What the heck is this?

(Note how I led into the continuation of the “What the Heck?” series.)

I ran into a few items of note, which you may or may not know. The first item took me back many, many years. I almost kept this as an antique. Can you guess the piece of junk in this first photo?


How about the second? I have lots of them. They are still available; however, if other offices don’t need to take these off my hands, they will find their way to the recycling bin. Dear Useless Junk Collectors, I’ll be happy to share the location of the recycling dumpster if you are desperate for short, round, gray tubes.  You only need to bring the McGyver tool that will allow you to pry open the lock of said dumpster.


Photo of Useless Stuff #3: I was perplexed when I came across this piece of plastic something, until I opened up both ends of the contraption. Oh, I get it…


Please excuse the dust. I don’t know where this came from, but it found its way to our office. At one time, it seemed that peers in other offices thought it a good idea to bring their boxes of junk to our central office in an attempt for all junk to co-mingle and somehow be attractive to others who also brought their boxes of junk.

Instead, the stuff simply procreated.

All boxes of outside junk are now banned in an attempt to reduce the population and bring order to an otherwise chaotic pile of crap.


I found a few additional items of interest in the back hallway closet.

20151230_113009 20151230_113506 20151230_113527

An overhead projector of antique status, a bag of decorative marbles, and plastic leis from the dollar store. Feel free to ask questions, I know you have two or three.

The one item of interest in our office is binders. Used and like-new and never-used binders. Many, many binders. I did not take a photo, but they are there. One of my co-workers went through a portion of the binders and threw the worst of the worst in the recycling/garbage pile. We keep hanging onto them in the hope that someone will take the paper organizers off our hands or we will need many binders for a very special project, but Hope never appears. She is afraid of the sinister hoarding monster and tends to hide in a clean and organized corner of the office. Wherever that may be.

I did have success, however, in throwing the cumulative junk, the hoarder’s collection, into the two metal dumpsters near our office.


Ninety-five percent of this pile resided in the back hallway closet. Stuff taking up space. Dust-covered junk. The nightmare of Hope. Garbage that should have seen the dumpster many moons ago. I am excited and happy over the outcome of this purge.


This closet? Formerly filled to the brim. No free space whatsoever for Hope. She would have had to lay in the life-saving air pockets in between plastic paper trays.

There is more stuff to be thrown out. I have not touched the kitchen area (where plastic containers without lids and crumpled holiday napkins reside) and none of us have started on our own work spaces. I’ll be calling the shredding service a few times between now and the move. Boxes will be saved and filled and additional items that elicit questions of What the Heck? will be found. This will be our winter to spring to office move eradication.

Wish us luck and happy crap-tossing success.

So, my fellow bloggers, can you venture a guess on the three mystery items? What the heck is this stuff? What are the questions you have about decorative marbles and leis and overhead projectors?

What are the dust-covered, seldom-used pieces of junk that your hoarding monster is unwilling to give up?

I am submitting this post for the weekly photo challenge. You will find a few circular photographs within this post, as well as those of other bloggers HERE.


30 responses to What the Heck? *Office Edition*

  1. Sammy D. says:

    Mary, I have no clue whatsoever on the mysterious What The Heck itms, but I KNOW there’s a similar stash if decorative marbles waiting at the bottom of one of my basement closets for the purge pile. I’ve begun purging in fits ‘n starts the last few weeks, determined not to come upstairs unless I have an armful of Goodwill, recycle or trash. That doesn’t seem quite as daunting as tackling it headon as you’ve done. But what really came through is your sense of lightness and unburdening now that you’ve tackled it. Well done!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Keep at your pile, you will get there. I had to tackle this in one day because I never seem to have time during a normal work week. Too many other things to get in the way…

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I’m gonna go with lens cap or coaster – whoTheHeckKnows and CD holder. The best news from this past year, office-wise, is that we signed a new lease that will keep us where we are until well after my retirement date. I don’t care how much junk they accumulate 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      We all would have been okay with staying where we are, except we have had the displeasure of a horrible landlord for far too long. We are done doing that dance.

      Nope, no lens cap or coaster. Guess again.

  3. joannesisco says:

    I have a feeling I’m about to be labelled a weirdo, but I LOVE purging and cleaning jobs like this! I dare go where others wouldn’t. I get such a ridiculous amount of satisfaction from purge, clean, organize.
    The last I heard, it’s a condition that’s not contagious.

    In answer to your questions.
    1) I don’t know.
    2) I don’t have a clue.
    3) ditto.

    … but those damn plastic leis are a curse and seem to pop up everywhere. I think they might be trying to take over the world.
    I recently found a bag full of them downstairs in my basement. A BAG FULL!!!! Who? What? Where? When? …. I haven’t a clue.
    … but they’re gone.
    I hope.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t think that’s weird at all, Joanne. I was motivated by a new employee, who realized soon after she started working at her office that there was an excessive amount of clutter and furniture that had to be removed. I knew before this that I would have to purge, but her “take no prisoners” response gave me the idea to go in on a quiet day and do the same.

      Those are difficult items to figure out. Dan is close with typewriter. Someone simply has to figure out what part. The other two items…well, if you’ve never come across them before, this might be a little difficult. I’m waiting for MOSY to wake up and reply with creativeness, if you know what I mean 😛

  4. I am depressed. I know exactly what that first item is. And I am more depressed that nobody else does. Am I really that old?? I even have one of those somewhere. And some rectangular ones. Can’t throw them out or I’d lose the ability to view large aspects of my childhood. Sigh.

    I’m guessing number three is some sort of portable file stand. No idea what the tubes are for but my inner raised-by-a-kindergarten-teacher is hyperventilating at the craft opportunities they present.

    I once worked with a purge-obsessive. I worked Mondays, Tuesdays and every second Wednesday, she worked Thursday, Friday and the other Wednesday. Some Mondays I’d come in to find she’d had a cleaning frenzy (she clearly had less work to do than I did and got bored regularly). Then I’d have to find things she’d decided to put somewhere else. It was when she started purging emails that I needed to read (like invoices) that I knew it was time to leave.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Do you remember IBM Selectric typewriters, caarbon paper and onion skin? If not, then there’s no reason to be depressed. Actually, there’s generally no reason to be depressed because you’re still young in my book. Besides, you may have nailed #3. I’m checking my notes.

      Your co-worker purged your emails? Wasn’t that against some rule or policy? Like going through someone’s mailbox and throwing out a birthday card?

      I wonder how much it would cost to send gray tubes to Australia…

      • I remember spirit duplicators. How’s that for old?

        We shared a single office email address. I’d have to check the Deleted Items folder every Monday. (Luckily she hadn’t figured out how to empty that.)

        Don’t send them! The Husband would kill me! 😀

        Mind you, I was after an overhead projector the other day…………….

      • I was talking to my school kids about shapes and I wanted to use shadows and get them to guess the object from the shadow. You can’t do that with a data projector. Overhead projector would have been perfect.

      • And I see now that I was way off the mark on number one. A proportion comparison would have been helpful. 😉 Sure looks like a slide carousel to me….

        BTW, someone’s selling one of those on eBay for twenty bucks.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Nope, nope, nope, not a slide carousel. I have to press the incorrect buzzer. My object is about 3 or 4″ in diameter.

        The spirit duplicator is probably similar to or the same as a mimeograph machine. Could you smell chemicals with a newly minted copy?

      • Oh really? [sings] Give me your answer, do…. 😀

        BTW, I had a Holly Hobbie version of this typewriter. It was manually operated of course. Actually, I think I’ve still got it. Sigh. I need a purger….

  5. Like a treasure hunt. Ive seen #1 but don’t remember what it does. #2 looks like some kind of coupler but I guess its the empty part of something and #3 looks like a great dust collector. Happy New Year.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Happy New Year to you as well. Stay tuned for the answers in my next post. You’ll find out why #1 is familiar.

  6. LB says:

    Good for you for getting so much accomplished! It was fun to read through all the comments. Off to the next post to see if you provide answers to What the Heck!

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